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For small businesses all across the U.S., business conditions will get better this year, most noticeably in the second half, when the overall economy shifts into higher gear. The rate of improvement will vary, of course, depending on the type of small business, where its located and the customers that it serves.

See Also: Kiplinger’s Economic Outlooks

Among the fastest gainers: App developers, software firms, a variety of professional service firms in accounting, insurance, architecture, etc., and restaurants, including a growing number of franchises that serve fast food, from hamburgers to salads.

Two sectors to note, in particular, are housing and tourism. As housing sales continue to rev up, smalls serving construction will see increased orders for building materials, equipment rentals and more. One Maryland-based developer of specialized software for construction firms tells us hes seeing sales pick up as builders ramp up for higher levels of activity.

stock graphs: KLX Inc.(KLXI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    KLX Inc (NASDAQ: KLXI) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.30 per share on revenue of $383.62 million.

    Baozun Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BZUN) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.19 per share on revenue of $610.98 million.

stock graphs: Constellium N.V.(CSTM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Constellium NV (NYSE: CSTM) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion.

    Qiwi PLC (NASDAQ: QIWI) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $13.85 per share on revenue of $2.70 billion.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Monday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested that small cap aluminum products and solutions stockConstellium NV (NYSE: CSTM) is looking like a short-term long bullish trade:

stock graphs: NVR Inc.(NVR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    The index NAIL tries to deliver triple the daily returns of is top heavy. D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), NVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR), Pulte Group Inc. (NYSE: PHM), Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) and Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) account for a significant portion of the benchmark's weight.

  • [By Ashley Moore]

    Here is a table of the 10 most expensive stocks trading on U.S. markets today:

    Company (Ticker)Price per ShareMarket CapBerkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A)$ 257,227.52$ 419.50 billionSeaboard Corp. (NYSEMKT: SEB)$ 3,760.00$ 4.48 billionNVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR)$ 1,944.23$ 7.19 billionThe Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN)$ 1,727.94$ 80.82 billionMarkel Corp. (NYSE: MKL)$ 978.51$ 13.78 billionWhite Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. (NYSE: WTM)$ 935.01$ 4.25 billionAmazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)$ 846.08$ 408.27 billionAlphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL)$ 844.06$ 582.85 billionAutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO)$ 744.26$ 21.04 billionIntuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG)$ 735.63$ 28.41 billion

stock graphs: Transcananda Pipelines Ltd.(TRP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    That includes pipeline companies like Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), which already operates a pipeline transporting natural gas from Texas into Mexico, and master limited partnerships (MLPs) Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP), the company that has (so far) failed to get U.S. approval for its Keystone Pipeline expansion from Canada’s oil sands across the U.S. border.

  • [By WWW.KIPLINGER.COM]

    Energy stocks were driven by a hefty dose of M&A during the third quarter. And that will drive returns for TransCanada Corporation (TRP) during the next one.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    In a number of articles recently, following the US recent revival and potential approval of the previously blocked Keystone XL pipeline, a number of estimates have been provided suggesting a pending boom for the US steel industry is on the horizon (and US steel stocks have reacted in kind). In fact, this optimism, we believe, peaked today when a report from one of our competitors was published claiming that, the keystone XL pipeline could increase line pipe demand by 14.7% for 2 years. The problem here, we believe, rests with the facts that: (a) TransCanada (TRP) has already taken, and paid for, the steel to build the Keystone XL pipeline (the steel currently sits in storage facilities in both Regina, Canada and Arkansas, United States), (b) neither US Steel (X; SELL), AK Steel, Steel Dynamics, or Nucor have the ability to make the specialized steel required for the miles of pipe associated with this project, to include both the thickness and pressure requirements, according to this article from Reuters, and (c) assuming some of the pipe does need replacement, this would likely come from international steel makers who are capable of producing the specialized steel (again, as highlighted in this Reuters article).

  • [By Matthew DiLallo]

    Energy infrastructure companies ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) are both emerging from the energy market downturn as stronger entities. Each made smart acquisitions, with TransCanada buying U.S. gas pipeline company Columbia Pipeline Group, while ONEOK is in the process of gobbling up its MLP,ONEOK Partners (NYSE:OKS). While these deals enhanced the growth profiles of both companies, TransCanada still stands out as the better buy for long-term income investors. Here’s why.

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